Monday, May 17, 2010

Review - The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010)

After hearing about the film so many times I finally got a chance to see The Human Centipede (First Sequence) at the Music Box Theater. The film is exactly what the title says; it’s about a lunatic surgeon who decides to create a human centipede by conjoining the first person’s intestines with second’s person’s mouth all the way down to the third person. This, in turn, creates a conjoined triplet via ass-to-mouth. With how much exposure this film has gotten I was expecting something creepy, scary and bizarre and it delivered… but the rest of the movie isn’t that good. The only thing that it has going for is the actual human centipede and that’s pretty much it. I felt the film was very overrated.

One of the biggest problems that the film suffers from is the direction and this encompasses a lot of things. There are scenes (especially when the girls are arguing in the car or when the perverted old man talks to them) that carry on way too long and after a while you begin to get bored. Even after the human centipede is completed, some of the scenes where it tries to escape from the doctor drag and I understand the reasoning behind it; it’s for suspense but unfortunately it falls short of it. The lighting is also really weird and surrealistic, which is fine for some movies but in a case like this… an almost all-pink tone or a stale-tone scene just seems so unfitting for the film. The scene in which the mad doctor presents his human centipede is washed out in pink lighting and it just doesn’t fit. The outside scenes are so stale of color that it almost felt like a mistake rather than intentional.

Awkwardness is another problem, not that seeing somebody eat another person’s feces is awkward but some of the performances, actions and shots are so awkward that I had to think about it for a while. Case in point: when the two girls drink the water the doctor gives them, he just sits down on the couch, looking like he just shot up heroin, staring at them and they don’t think that’s weird. Or, when the doctor would just randomly stop what he’s doing, close his eyes, shakes and almost has an orgasm. The camera would follow the doctor swimming naked in the pool but would pay no attention to the human centipede as it tries to escapes… all of this just seems so random and awkward that it took me out of the film.

However, I do want to state that out of all the performances Dieter Laser is fantastic because he’s such a creep in the movie. He’s like a cross between Christopher Walken and Michael Shannon and I mean that in the best of ways and is in no way an insult. My buddy and I joked saying, “I’ve got a fever… and the only way to cure it is by making a human centipede.” I think Dieter really created a character out of this surgeon because he’s so insane and goofy, and his physical actions are over-the-top. He’s also the kind of character that you root for in the movie because none of the other character in the movie are that developed, even though they try to be. Dr. Heiter really cares for his human centipede and it’s almost touching in a disturbing kind of way and I think that’s one of the best things the film has. I only wished they dug into his back-story a little because they created such a great character, I wanted to know more about him.

If you followed the rumors, you’ll know the film is very disturbing in some scenes and I think despite some bad acting, randomness, awkwardness, plot holes, run-on scenes and questionable actions there is a silver lining to the movie. The surgery scenes is very unnerving and it will make you cringe because you get to see him cut open people’s ass cheeks and mouths. But, the most disturbing scene in the movie is the unveiling of the human centipede. Heiter gets sexually high as he photographs his work, dances around in a demonic childish manner, shows the people what he has done to them via mirror, then licks the mirror, manically laughs at himself and screams. It’s one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve seen.

I guess if you want to see a human centipede than you are in luck because this movie has one and it’s not CGI and there is no puppetry, which makes this centipede all the more lethal. I guarantee that if you go into the movie looking for anything besides a human centipede than you are not in luck because aside from that element this movie is bad. As I stated before, the only thing this film has going for it is a very disturbing medical procedure and that’s it. What I found myself doing after the film was trying to grasp how a human centipede would work and awful it must be to take a shit in somebody’s mouth or to swallow another person’s shit. That thought alone will stick with you the entire movie and it will make you think about that every time you use the bathroom. I guess if that’s what The Human Centipede wants to accomplish, it has succeeded. Personally, I still think that actual centipedes are creepier than this film; they are so small and they have too many damn legs. Lets see how the sequel to this film turns out.


the jaded viewer said...

Good review. Dieter Laser I thought was fantastic in this...and sure the human centipede is a pure and pure shock value movie but it does it well. Its bad acting and is completely wacky. At least its not a remake.

S. Cole said...

I have to say the poster is pretty epic though! Likely one of the most impressive horror/thriller movie posters to have come out in a while.
I've been waiting for this review since its part of my plan to work myself into actually seeing the film. I had to ease my way into Funny Games in the same manner. Thanks man! Cheers :)

scolefiction said...

P.S. I just had a question for you (since who knows when I will actually get to see this movie) Does the movie explain any of the biology? Specifically, (and I know next to nothing about science) if you run the first guys intestines through the two girls, wouldnt then not actually get anything in their stomaches and starve to death? I was just thinking about this as I read your review. I dont know if it says anything about this or not but I'd love to know. Thanks :)

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

scolefiction: it's explained but you can barely hear it over the commotion.

Anonymous said...

The directors actually asked a surgeon to design the medical procedure to create a "human centipede" because they wanted the film to be surgically correct. Apparently it can be done and the second and third sections could be kept alive for a year living on a drip... Scary...

You can read all about this if you search on it ^^

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